Meet the Workshop’s New Staff

Check out the full NC Local newsletter from Feb. 23 for more from the NC Local News Workshop, including the latest updates on the NC News & Information SummitSign up to get NC Local in your inbox every Wednesday.

By Shannan Bowen, Executive Director

The NC Local News Workshop’s team is growing!

Gabriela Rivas-De LeonPlease welcome our spring intern, Gabriela Rivas-De Leon, a journalism major at Elon University’s School of Communications. Gabriela hopes to use her journalism and sociology degree to combine her passions for community storytelling, social justice, and writing for the greater good. In her spare time, she is the co-creator of the podcast “Flying By the Seat of Our Pants” and is a tour guide for Elon Admissions. She also enjoys volunteering for sustainable organizations.

Gabriela will help the Workshop plan events, build a membership network, and use social media to connect people to the work and initiatives that are important to our news and information ecosystem. You may see her name from time to time, and she might even guest-write an upcoming edition of this newsletter.

Welcome, Gabriela!

Kicking off our WNC Community Listening Effort

Brenda MurphreeWe also welcomed our Western NC Research and Community Listening Fellow this month. Brenda Murphree brings years of experience in communications and community organizing to this role. Brenda, a Mississippi native who made Asheville her home nearly 30 years ago, founded an Asheville-based marketing agency in 2001 and has led award-winning creative work for businesses and organizations from Highlands to Hanoi.

In 2016 she launched a grassroots nonpartisan group that quickly grew to engage hundreds of volunteers in advocacy, actions and community education around key issues facing North Carolinians. Brenda lives in northern Buncombe County with her spouse and 96-year-old mother-in-law on a small patch of land that supports a few goats and chickens and a sometimes bountiful summer garden.

In her independent contractor role for the Workshop, Brenda will conduct community listening and research across Western NC to provide an assessment of information needs, gaps and opportunities in access to news for WNC’s communities, with emphasis on groups that are underrepresented and underserved. One of the Workshop’s major initiatives is helping our state’s news organizations learn and address community needs. As we listen to our communities in WNC, we will share our findings to local news organizations. Please email Brenda if you would like more details, and stay tuned for invitations to future meetings.